Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Knight Canyon -- Argus Range

During our four wheel drive exploring of the Argus Mountains I noticed a couple of old limestone mines that I figured would be worth a close up view, but not a full day.  It happened that Knight Canyon was right there, so a hike up the canyon would make a perfect companion to checking out a couple of holes in the ground.  Our goal on the hike was a narrows with towering rock walls and a burbling stream.  The punchline to this hike, our long anticipated oasis at the end, was a complete disappointment.  

ebird checklist

The view heading into Knight Canyon.

One of the mines from afar. More on our way out.

Scenery as we walk up the wash.

Trees, alas, no birds to go with them.

Wonder if this was a temporary or permanent shelter.

Our first interesting mining artifact, an old drill bit.

Rachel is enthralled with the old tractor.

We all thought the old tractor  was one of the high points of the hike.  It had components marked with the year 1946, and was still in amazingly good condition.  It was a bright yellow spot of antiquity in the middle of nowhere.  

Even a needle remains on one of the gages.

A riveted tank.  We figured it was older than the tractor.

The best of our narrows.

Our burbling spring.  Yikes, yep that was all of it.

My other high point in the narrows.

Rachel is leading and if you look very closely in front of Bob.

Yes, this is the narrow canyon with stream.  Hmmm.  Not the oasis we were hoping for.  I characterized it as more of a water witch hell.  Water witch is a common name for that hideous plant that fills the bottom of the canyon.  What is so hideous about it you may ask?  Two things, it stinks, yes it exudes some nasty volatile when walked through, vile.  And the other, trying to walk through it.  It is grasping, thick, and a tangled mess.  Unfortunately for us, our donkey friends had no reason to go beyond the spring so we were on our own to push our way through.  Arrgh!  Rachel and Bob pushed on to see around the corner, when their report was unfavorable, I happily abandoned all efforts to get further up canyon.

Bob and Rachel are in there somewhere.

This is where I gave up.

Bob and Rachel pushing through.  Yuck.

On our way back down to the car, we found a hunting blind.  Very cool.

Danger.  Looks obvious to me.

Now then who had to get a closer look.

Getting out looks fun.

Scenery on the trip back was very nice.

The Panamints in the distance.

The reason I wanted to explore this area.

This tiny square hole in the ground is what motivated me to want to take a closer look at the area.  From very far away and with binoculars, this appeared to me a huge mine with a drive in hole on the left.  Reality is a small square with a round bush on the left.  Sad, but true.

The most interesting thing we saw was a sculptor copying a bust and using a scrap of the abandoned limestone.  I wish I had gotten a photo of that.

1 comment:

  1. What a very interesting canyon. Geology, history. Makes you wonder about the drive to prospect there and bringing in that equipment! Yikes.
    Thanks for the tour.